Jon Bon Jovi, Billie Eilish and more sign open letter protesting 'predatory use of AI'

The letter urges developers not to "undermine" human creativity.

April 2, 2024, 8:03 PM

More than 200 artists including Jon Bon Jovi, Billie Eilish and Peter Frampton have signed an open letter protesting the potential harm artificial intelligence poses to artists.

The letter, put out by the organization Artist Rights Alliance, declares the "predatory use of AI to steal professional artists' voices and likenesses, violate creators' rights, and destroy the music ecosystem."

It is also signed by Elvis Costello, the estate of Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, as well as Sheryl Crow, FINNEAS, Pearl Jam, The Cure's Robert Smith, Mumford & Sons and more.

PHOTO: In this March 14, 2024, file photo, Jon Bon Jovi attends a premiere as part of the SXSW 2024 Conference and Festivals, in Austin, Texas.
In this March 14, 2024, file photo, Jon Bon Jovi attends a premiere as part of the SXSW 2024 Conference and Festivals, in Austin, Texas.
Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images, FILE

The letter said that while AI has the "enormous potential to advance human creativity," the artists also believe that some platforms and developers are using AI to sabotage creativity and undermine artists, songwriters, musicians, and rightsholders.

"We, the undersigned members of the artist and songwriting communities, call on AI developers, technology companies, platforms and digital music services to cease the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to infringe upon and devalue the rights of human artists," the letter begins.

PHOTO: In this Nov. 18, 2016, file photo, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, and Peter Buck attend the 25th anniversary of REM's album 'Out Of Time' album, in London.
In this Nov. 18, 2016, file photo, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, and Peter Buck attend the 25th anniversary of REM's album 'Out Of Time' album, in London.
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images, FILE

The signees believe that "when used irresponsibly, AI poses enormous threats to our ability to protect our privacy, our identities and our livelihoods."

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"Unchecked, AI will set in motion a race to the bottom that will degrade the value of our work and prevent us from being fairly compensated for it," the letter continues. "This assault of human creativity must be stopped."

It concludes, "We call on all AI developers, technology companies, platforms and digital music services to pledge that they will not develop or deploy AI music-generation technology, content or tools that undermine or replace the human artistry of songwriters and artists or deny us fair compensation for our work."

The letter comes as Tennessee became the first state last month to enact legislation to protect musicians and artists from AI in an act dubbed the Ensuring Likeness, Voice, and Image Security Act or "ELVIS Act." Gov. Bill Lee signed the measure, set to go into effect on July 1, which supports say will prevent AI from using the voices of artists without their consent. Those who violate the law can potentially be punished with civil action.

"We employ more people in Tennessee in the music industry than any other state," Lee told reporters shortly after signing the bill into law. "Artists have intellectual property. They have gifts. They have a uniqueness that is theirs and theirs alone, certainly not artificial intelligence."

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